FRANCE: The Battle of Bread

'Tis a long day, a day without bread.—French Proverb

Though gourmets the world over relish it, no one can get quite as passionate about French bread as the French. For them, the long, crusty loaf called a baguette is not only a gustatory delight and a dietary necessity but a supercharged political commodity as well. On the dark day in 1789 when a mob of hungry women marched twelve miles through the mud to Versailles to haul King Louis XVI off to his doom, their war cry was "Bread! Bread!" and their fury was fed by Marie Antoinette's fateful "Let...

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